Here are some recommendations for washing raw denim:
- Wear as long as possible before the first wash;
- Wash only as needed and as little as possible;
- Use cold water only;
- Use a little mild, non-stain-removing detergent/soap (e.g., Woolite);
- Wash by hand or on the delicates cycle, inside out;
- Hang dry (never, under any circumstances, put them in the dryer).
Another option that some prefer is to soak the jeans in cold water, with vinegar and salt to set the dye, before wearing. While the jeans are still damp, put them on and wear until dry. Tellason advocates this soaking method.
All of the jeans sold at Two Jacks Denim, except the Levi’s Vintage 501s, are Sanforized, a process that reduces shrinkage to 1%– 2%. The Levi’s Vintage 501s are "shrink-to-fit" or un-Sanforized.
A good source of information on raw denim and how to care for it can be found on the popular blogs: